After Iowa, Romney Vaults Out in Front

Karl Rove looks at the state of the race headed into NH
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 5, 2012 11:24 AM CST
Iowa Vaults Romney Way Ahead
Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney greets supporters during a campaign town hall meeting at the Boys and Girls Club January 5, 2012 in Salem, New Hampshire.   (Getty Images)

Not long ago it seemed unthinkable that Mitt Romney would win in über-conservative Iowa. But win it he did—albeit by only eight votes—and if he wins in New Hampshire as expected, “he becomes the prohibitive favorite,” writes Karl Rove in the Wall Street Journal. Sure, Rick Santorum did well, but he “shouldn’t kid himself; he faces huge obstacles.” He has spent little to no time in the other early states, and faces an opponent with “tremendous organizational and financial advantages.”

Rove dismisses Ron Paul, who he says likely saw his “high-water mark” in Iowa. Newt Gingrich could recover, but his distaste for Romney is showing; Rove quotes an anonymous “Washington observer” as saying he looks like he’s “enraged, wearing a full hockey mask, and carrying a chainsaw.” Rick Perry is trucking on, but if spending $5.5 million in Iowa—about $430 per vote—didn’t work, nothing will. That leaves Romney, who “should prepare to be the piñata at Saturday’s debate.” (More Karl Rove stories.)

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